A Piece of Me: My Childhood in Wartime Bavaria by Beatrix Ost

As a young girl growing up in the ’40s on a vast estate near Munich, Trixi Ost lives a life that is charmed by talent and privilege yet scarred by turbulent times. She enjoys the attentions of a beloved grandfather who sings her songs and holds forth in Latin, the pig and the deer she keeps as pets, and a wide freedom to roam. But everyday routine is swiftly upended as the estate becomes temporary home to an unlikely collection of people displaced by the war: distant relatives, forced laborers, Prussian royals, Polish peasants, generals, and even a few spies. One bright afternoon, a band of Easterners arrive: “The farm community gathered…staring rigidly at the approaching strangers in their desiccated floral colors, the skin of their faces gaunt and gray like dusty paper…. Who were they? Where were they coming from on this June day? Dachau, breathed the young man who led them, almost inaudibly.”

More Than Everything: My Voyage with the Gods of Love by Beatrix Ost

Beatrix Ost’s memoir of her artistic awakening and early marriage opens on the heels of Germany’s recovery from the self-imposed disasters of World War II. She is part of the new generation that dances disobediently in the bombed-out villas and underground jazz caverns of Munich. Beatrix rides the dynamic decade up through the world of art, fashion, and cinema into the revolution of politics and consciousness.